16 members met on an overcast and humid morning by the Ring O’ Bells pub. A Song Thrush was singing and a Chiffchaff calling as we set off along the lanes to Coley. A Hare crossing in front of us was a surprise and on a house in Coley we observed six active House Martin nests. Brown Trout idled in the stream. The lower lake at Litton had been drained for repair works so the upper lake was our best bet for water birds, but we did see a family of Grey Wagtails on the way. Mallard and Tufted Duck were on the upper lake with a couple of Great Crested Grebes – what a gruff call they make! In an Ash tree we were lucky enough to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker family and get good views of a youngster with its red cap. A Coal Tit was heard and during the walk we heard at least four Song Thrushes, four Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. We had a Yellowhammer, Long-tailed Tits, two Bullfinches, Chaffinch and Goldfinch. The fields by the long green lane held families of Rooks. At this time of year there were many wildflowers in bloom. It was a very pleasant walk of four and a half miles with a total of 36 species. Thanks go to Sue and John Prince for leading.
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